As is required for any business decision, choosing a credit card processing service also calls for price considerations. The cost involves the rates applied by the credit card processor and the expense of hardware needed to carry out credit card processing. It is wise to familiarize yourself with all the costs so that you can make the right choice of a card processor.
Credit card processing equipment
Businesses need credit card machines for processing payments. They are used for swiping cards at stores. Setting these up involves considerable investment as these could be expensive. However, many choices are available. The cost can be anywhere from $150 to $1000 based on its sophistication. Consider your business needs and requirements and finances to choose the model that suits you the best. Financing options are available if you want to buy the equipment or you can initially lease one, try it out and make the purchase if it addresses requirements. Some equipment can be leased for as little as $20 a month.
Often, terminals are included in the package accompanying a new merchant account. This proves more economical than purchasing the equipment by itself. It is also possible to use a software solutions to accept credit card payments online and verify transactions with virtual terminal software. Another mode used by sellers is to process the card manually and confirm the information with a call to the customer. However, this is time consuming and riskier as the buyer may have insufficient funds available at the time of processing the charge though they may have been at the time of verifying.
Credit card processing fees
Another important expense for a company is the discount rate imposed by the card processing company. It is the percentage charged for each transaction. This fee is based on the risk the vendor perceives it is taking by offering service to the business and the chance of losing money on processed payments. Fees is based on numerous other factors including credit score, volume of credit transaction and the amount of receipts likely every month. What’s more, charges are different for transactions where the card is not present such as internet payments or payments on the telephone, and where the card is present. Most vendors charge a additional fee besides the discount fee of 2.2 % to 3% for transactions where the card is absent. The rate for transactions where the card can be verified physically is lower, around 1.5% to 2%.
Apart from these, there are a number of other fees that businesses have to pay to avail the credit card processor’s services. These include application fees, activation fees, setup fees, customer service fees and programming costs. You may or may not be charged all these fees and some of them could even be refunded if you stick with your provider for a set period.
It is important to know all the applicable costs and fees associated with credit card processing. Do sufficient research and also ask for references from associates. Do not fall only for low fees or charges. Superior customer service is also important. If you get stuck when the customer is at the counter, you will need to quickly reach customer service or you might end up losing the sale.